Nov 30, 2009
My grandfather passed away on Nov. 27 at the age of 89 years old.
I've always felt disconnected from my extended family back in the Philippines; not because of any family drama or anything, but really only because the geographical distance makes it very difficult to build and maintain relationships. (Let's face it; the flight to Manila makes a five-hour flight to New York seem like a nanosecond, not to mention the fact that a plane ticket can cost about a month's salary for some.) In any case; my grandparents helped raise my cousins; my memories of my grandparents consisted of stories my dad would tell me about them and the three times I've visited. But despite the distance (both literally and figuratively), I've always held a fondness in my heart for my family back there.
Thankfully, the Internet and social networking have enabled the kinds of connections I've wanted to make with my cousins. My cousin, Jon, wrote this tribute to our grandfather the other day, and after reading it, I realized that my dad --- the oldest of all the siblings --- is SO like my grandfather. I may not have had the pleasure or privilege of living with my grandparents, but my grandfather's teachings, personality, values and beliefs were mirrored in the teachings, personality, values and beliefs I've seen in my own father.
And I never felt so connected to my family than at that moment.